Venus Williams reaches for the skies
• Meets Muguruza in final
This is the sort of story legends are made of. Venus Williams yesterday at the Championship, Wimbledon, became the oldest finalist to grace the All England Club for 23 years following her semifinal victory over Johanna Konta.
She beat the young English lady with a masterful 6-4, 6-2 win. It came 20 years after her Wimbledon debut and she is now into her ninth final at the All England Club and her first since 2009. All these at age 37.
Venus Williams and Johanna Konta had to step out earlier than scheduled because of the quick ending to the first semifinal match. The five-time Wimbledon champion served first and held and so did her opponent. The first eight games went with serve. In the crucial ninth game, Williams faced two break points but saved them and took the game on the first advantage.
Serving to extend the set, Konta did not recover from three break points at 0-40. Venus lost the first set point with a missed backhand, but Konta missed an easy backhand to concede game and set 6-4.
Serving with the momentum on her side, Wiliams won the first game of the second set at love. Konta struggled to hold, helped by an ace that got her ahead in points. A combination of service winners and aggressive strokes gave Williams the third game. Konta lost her serve to concede the fourth game while Williams held hers to stretch the lead 4-1. The Briton lost three game points before winning the sixth game. In the seventh game, Williams fired service winners and powerful ground strokes to hold for 5-2 a lead.
As happened often during the match, Konta lost the first point on serve but was helped by an ace and a forehand winner to reach 40-30. Then the excitement commenced. An error of her backhand got her to deuce, and she lost the first advantage. She saved a match point but a double fault gave the advantage to Williams, who sealed the match with a forehand winner.
Earlier, Garbine Muguruza of Spain powered her way to the title match with a 6/1; 6/1 drubbing of Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova in a one-sided encounter played on Centre Court over 64 minutes.
Muguruza, the 2016 French Open champion served notice from the take-off by holding the opening game on her serve. Then she promptly broke Magdalena’s serve and won her own with a forceful forehand that elicited an error from her opponent. The match had lasted 10 minutes and the Slovakian needed to register on the score board. It was not to be as she was broken again after saving a game point.